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15+ Eastern European Capitals That No One Thinks To Visit – So Go Now!

Do you dream of Europe, but it’s just too expensive? Pass up Paris and Rome and head to the best travel deal…Eastern Europe. The capitals of Eastern Europe have much to offer at a great price. This list will tell you all about them and how wonderful they really are.

I love Paris. I love London. I even love Rome, but why is it that when we start thinking of buying a ticket to Europe we don’t consider some of the lesser-known capital cities? Recently Jim and I have made it a point to really explore Eastern Europe more.

We’ve found these cities to be loaded with beautiful architecture, delicious foods, and plenty to do. But do you know what the best part is? They are all a fraction of the cost of visiting Paris and London. Your money goes so much further; it’s such a good feeling to know that you can still travel to places relatively unknown and not have to break the bank to do it. Here are our top ten favorite Eastern European capital cities.

The Best of Eastern European Capitals

As much as I love visiting the countryside, villages, and smaller cities everywhere I go, traveling to capital cities are such a good way to be introduced to the country. The capital is where you will find at least one major historical museum, an art museum, great restaurants, government buildings, and usually a fantastic pubic transportation system so you can easily get around. It’s also the easiest place to visit in each country since it’s always serviced with an international airports.

Colorful old townhouses in Tallinn, Estonia.
Charming and colorful town squares can be found in almost every Eastern European capital city.

I love to go to capital cities on the weekend or for day trips, but if I’m building a country-wide itinerary for two weeks or longer, I tend to get out of the city right away, then come back and do these things at the end after I’ve seen the rest. That way when I go to the museum and the artist is from X town, I’ve been there and can relate to it much better. I do know a lot of travelers that concentrate on just the capital and big cities of a country, though, because there is always so much to do.

Helsinki waterfront is a great place to catch a ferry or go for a swim.
After such a recent turbulent past for many Eastern European cities, it’s their time to shine!

The Best Eastern European Cities to Visit Before the Rest of the World

Without further ado, here is my list of ten European capital cities that you should put on your travel itinerary. These are all ones that we’ve fallen in love with and think you will too. We’ve listed a must-see history and art museum, plus our recommendations for a restaurant in each capial city. We hope it will get you started traveling to one of the best parts of Europe!

Eastern European Capitals That No One Thinks To Visit - So Go Now!


If you want to start traveling again, why not head to some of these lesser visited spots in Eastern Europe? The capital cities are modern, have tons of things to do, great history museums, fantastic art, and amazing restaurants with great food. The best thing is they are usually cheaper to travel to than some of the western European cities. So what are you waiting for?

Have you been to any of these cities? What was your favorite spot?

Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.

Save Eastern European Cities for later.

Bratislava and Belgrade, 2 Eastern European Cities to visit now!
You will want to start exploring these amazing capitals of Eastern Europe.

Rose Dias

Monday 11th of September 2023

What is the best way to go from one eastern european capital to the other? Train, car, fly? Can you help with hotels?

Corinne Vail

Tuesday 12th of September 2023

We've either flown in to the capitals, or taken the train. Both work just fine. We usually fly Lufthansa. Where are you coming from?

Lyn aka The Travelling Lindfields

Monday 10th of April 2017

This is a great list. David hates crowds so cities like these, just slightly off the tourist trail, would be a real find for us. We have been to Ljubjana and loved it but we haven't been to any of the others you mention. We have toyed with the idea of visiting Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. This post might just prompt me to dust off our plans for those countries and get going.

Corinne Vail

Monday 10th of April 2017

Lyn, Do it. I think you two will love it. Also get outside of the cities a little. They have beautiful national parks.

Steve Tierney

Sunday 9th of April 2017

We have been to most- enjoyed every one we visited. Riga was the most surprising as we were not expecting much and it was terrific.

Corinne Vail

Monday 10th of April 2017

Steve, I agree. I thought most of them were a little surprising. I love them all.

aholeinmyshoe (@a_holeinmyshoe)

Sunday 9th of April 2017

Corinne I so want to get to all 10 places you have listed. So far I have only made it to Ljubljana, Belgrade and Bratislava and loved them all in that order. I just wish we were closer to Europe so we could visit more and more, but Eastern Europe is definitely an area we hope to explore next trip. Loved this post.

Corinne Vail

Monday 10th of April 2017

Lyn, I'm sure you would love the other ones as well. We've really enjoyed traveling all through Eastern Europe.

Mary {The World Is A Book}

Saturday 8th of April 2017

This is a great and inspiring list. Eastern Europe and the Scandinavia region often get overlooked for the mainstream capital cities. We've only been to Tallinn and Helsinki on this list. We'd love to explore more of Eastern Europe. We really loved Tallinn and hope to return soon. I'm eyeing Vilnius and Sofia on this list.

Corinne Vail

Monday 10th of April 2017

Mary, It's hard for us to pick a favorite. They are all great, and even some we didn't mention as well. I hope you make it there soon.